Behind the Blade

Henry, Guest Writer

Ever wondered what life is like for figure skating coaches ? Look no further than this article. Coaches at the Pettit National Ice Center opened up about their experiences, techniques, and their lives in general.

Coaching figure skating may seem like a piece of cake, but it is far from easy. Many coaches have bruises and broken bones because of their skaters. A lot of coaches wake up super early for their skaters as well. Coaching any sport  is one of the hardest jobs in the world both physically and mentally.

“I have been tripped by skaters, I’ve had skaters run into me, I have had shoulder and back injuries from skating dance and pairs,” says David Redlin. David is a high level figure skating coach at the Pettit National ice Center.

“I have to work around 50 hours a week with 40 kids. Since I have so many, I see a lot of them in the morning. That means I have to wake up around 3 a.m. and start teaching at 5 a.m.,” he explains.

Information like this might scare off a crowd of people, but some might say that it is worth the injuries and sacrifices.

Coaching may be one of the best jobs of the world. For many, coaching is a dream job because coaches get to watch one of the most fascinating sports of the world. Coaches enjoy it because they get to teach life skills and the basics of skating while watching kids grow into adulthood.

“The best part of coaching is seeing a student reach a difficult goal through hard work,” says Angela Johnstad. Angie is another high level coach who works alongside David Redlin.

“It’s cool to watch kids learn that when they fall, they have to get up,” she notes. “The worst part is seeing my students grow into adults…and leave me,” she adds.

Even though coaches do the teaching, sometimes the coaches learn more than the students do. Coaches can teach themselves useful skills, while not even noticing.

“I had to learn time management, to give myself enough time to get everything done,” says Julie Szczygielski. Julie is a learn-to-skate coach at the Pettit National Ice Center 

“I also got to learn how to handle rowdy kids,” she adds.

Coaching can be one of the worst jobs or the best jobs depending on the person. Because these coaches opened up, it gave a better understanding on a sport people know little about. Figure skating coaches are very hard-working individuals with lives.


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